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Des Moines breaks single-day snowfall record set in 1895, Iowa


Des Moines in Iowa set a new single-day snowfall record on Monday, January 25, 2021, after the city recorded up to 26.2 cm (10.3 inches), breaking the previous record of 25.4 cm (10 inches) set in 1895.

Snow started falling Monday noon in central Iowa and continued into Tuesday morning, creating hazardous travel conditions across the state.

The weather also disrupted flights into and out of Des Moines International Airport, while many school districts were prompted to dismiss or cancel classes.

By the end of Monday, the city registered 26.2 cm (10.3 inches) of snow, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). It smashed the record for January 25, previously set when 25.4 cm (10 inches) of snow fell 126 years ago, in 1895.

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Between Monday morning to Tuesday noon, the Iowa State Patrol responded to 147 crashes, eight of which resulted in injured passengers. Crews also responded to 45 stalled vehicles. 

By Tuesday noon, 32.8 cm (12.9 inches) of snow had fallen in the airport, marking the 12th highest two-day snow total in the city's history and snowiest storm in Des Moines since a blizzard dumped 39.4 cm (15.5 inches) over December 8 to 9 in 2009.

NWS meteorologist Taylor Nicolaisen told the Associated Press that it's not common for the region to get more than a foot of snow from a single storm, adding that it has been decades since some cities had this much snow.

Featured image credit: ISP-Trooper DeVault


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